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Archive for Good vs. Evil
One of the most exciting things to come out of this year’s NRA Annual Meeting was this video, reminding us all why we believe in our 2nd Amendment rights. Reminding us of the sheepdogs who watch over our neighborhoods, our cities, and our country. It’s time to believe in the good guys again. We are the 5 million men and women of the National Rifle Association of America. Join us: http://www.JoinNRAnow.org/
We just spent the last year, or so, focused on the Trayvon Martin death and the George Zimmerman trial. I have voiced my opinion that George Zimmerman seemed to have made choices that, as a gun owner, or a neighborhood watch, I probably would not have made. As a result, he ended up in the confrontation where he felt he needed to defend his life within the bounds of Florida law. I feel the jury was correct to acquit Mr. Zimmerman, as it pertains to Florida law. What really happened that night will never be known, and we can only go by the evidence that was obtained, not by what we feel emotionally and definitely not by what fits our own political agenda. Both sides of the gun debate took their respective sides and then with the race card mixed in, it became an ugly unfortunate mess. Almost no one seemed to really look at it subjectively – no one was willing to admit that the side they favored made any mistakes. I believe that mistakes were made on both sides that lead to confusion, misrepresentation, fear (on both sides) and ultimately the death of Trayvon. I believe that either side could have stopped the escalation in that one situation, but even my opinion is just my opinion – for I only know the facts reported.
What I do know is that a great deal of people threw their political capital behind Trayvon Martin, to include the President of the United States, all the current Civil Rights leaders, many politicians, nearly everyone who has a song on the top 40 charts or a B-movie streaming on Netflix. The energy, money, television airtime, space on blogs, and merchandise promoting the image of Trayvon Martin as a polarizing symbol was a relentless tsunami, one that drowned out any other perspective, as well as many other important current news events. Trayvon’s death was tragic, but it saddens me deeply to think that so many people lined up to rage against a case where mistakes were made on both sides and the self-defense shooting was conducted within the law and without malice. I watched an interview on CNN soon after the Zimmerman trial ended, I believe it was with Anderson Cooper, but he was interviewing inner city kids in Chicago. Many of them were upset that Trayvon was getting so much attention, because people were getting murdered in their neighborhood day after day and it only made the news as a statistic (i.e. there were 43 murders over the weekend.) I wondered then, what if every single person who has spent money or time on the Trayvon Martin case instead had spent time and money toward solving the inner city gang violence that throbs through the veins of the city, always just under the surface, like a cancer – killing the young and underprivileged.
In two separate incidents this week, Christopher Lane and Delbert Belton were killed in random acts of meaningless violence. Their deaths are indicative of the type of violence that happens somewhere in our country several times a day, in one-way or another. Neither of these deaths would have been stopped by all the gun laws that Senator Diane Feinstein, Mayor Bloomberg, nor legislatures from New York, California, Colorado or Illinois could conjure in their cauldron of seething gun-grabbing nonsense.
Chris Lane was killed by three teenagers who claim to have been “bored”. He was killed with a .22 Caliber handgun, police believe it was a revolver. The World War II Veteran, Delbert Belton, was killed by two teenagers using heavy flashlights, his death was caused by blunt force trauma. Again, these two teenagers may have been looking to commit a robbery, but otherwise, killed this honorable man who fought valiantly to defend their freedom, probably before their grandparents were even born.
What I want to know is: Where is the rage now? Where are all those movie stars? Why aren’t people wearing East Central University Baseball caps or United States Marines ball caps declaring, “It could have been their son, friend, father, grandfather?”
When I think about the billions of dollars spent and the valuable time spent by lawmakers at every level of government in an attempt to infringe upon the second amendment, it sickens me when city Police Departments are basically left to take on gang related activity with meager budgets and reduced manning. Kids are born into worlds where dreams seem impossible. If all of the energy spent dividing this country on guns and race were actually focused on something we could all agree with, we might see real change.
You do not need a gun to be a thug.
Rest in Peace Christopher Lane, may your light shine on for all who knew you.
Delbert “Shorty” Belton (USMC) I salute you! You came from the greatest generation and gave more than most to our country. I can only pray that one day these young men realize what they have done and the dichotomy between their lives and yours.
From the NRA site: This week’s outrage comes to us from a rather unlikely source: the Google Play app store. The new app is called the Gun Geo Marker, and encourages users to “geolocate dangerous guns and owners” in their communities.
The app could enable thieves to target and steal firearms from law-abiding gun owners, while conversely advertising that other residences are “gun free” and therefore easy targets for criminals. Read more via NRA-ILA.
I did go to the developer’s website, and they have listed the following guidelines for “Marking” someone as a dangerous gun owner:
Try to keep the following warning signs and guidelines in mind when determining if a local gun owner may present a threat to your children or your community. While the remainder of the guidelines are fairly obvious cases for marking if true, it is important to remain clear headed about your assessment and avoid misunderstandings. Users of the Walkingtools Gun Geo Marker hold the responsibility for the quality of the information the system presents while remaining anonymous so try to be as clear about your concerns as possible.
- Unlocked, loaded, or carelessly stored weapons
- Dangerous Gun Owners to include 1st time gun owners who have not take a gun safety class.
- Places with an unsafe gun culture
- Uncertain Situations
- The general guideline is that you should mark any location about which you have a gun related concern, while trying to provide enough extra information for others to make their own determination about safety.
There is A LOT more information and suggestion about who to “mark”. The developer’s site spends a lot of time encouraging people to not mark safe gun enthusiasts or safe hunters, but the guidelines (especially the #5 general guideline) outline that anyone could be marked.
What do you think?
Last night as I read through news, I came across an article from the Los Angeles Times with the Headline:
“Police: Boston bombing suspects lost hostage while buying snacks”
I’ll admit I was mildly interested, as the headline promised an angle with potentially different information (in the dumb criminal realm) from that recycled over and over on cable news. I clicked on it expecting to read something regarding the carjacking incident that eventually led to the police shootout and the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Then, like a booby trap, I ran SMACK into the first two paragraphs of the article talking about the gun laws these terrorists were breaking:
The two suspects in last weeks Boston Marathon bombing weren’t licensed to have guns, the Cambridge, Mass., Police Department confirmed Sunday. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was captured after a gun battle with police Friday, wasnt old enough to be licensed to own a gun in Massachusetts. The minimum legal age is 21. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was fatally wounded hours earlier, never had a license to own or carry a gun in Cambridge, where the pair shared an apartment, Cambridge Police spokesman Dan Riviello told the Los Angeles Times. Its unclear whether he ever applied for a license.
This is exactly how it is going to be from now on, the gun agenda weaved into every issue, as commentary on any crime. What does the quoted paragraph have to do with the headline? If someone is willing to build bombs and kill innocent people at a positive energy event like a marathon, why do we think they would comply with gun laws? Why even mention it?
Yes they had guns, and in spite of Massachusetts gun laws in place, they apparently were in possession of them anyway.
This is one of the most poorly written articles by a large newspaper I have ever read. Even if I disagree with other articles, I rarely call them poorly written. This article must have initially had a different headline and then changed it for some reason without changing anything about the outline of the article. I don’t know about you, but the fact that evil men broke gun laws does not shock me. It just backs up the theory of all law-abiding gun owners that gun laws, including those already in place, will not stop evil.
Back in June 2005 I ran in, and finished, the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, CA. I still remember the day 18 months, or so, earlier when a couple of my friends in the Navy suggested I train to run a half marathon. I did begin training, and competed in longer and longer events, a 5K, a 10K, a 15K, and then I ran every single half marathon in San Diego the year prior to the actual Marathon I finished. Every weekend I mapped out a long run, I planned the logistics, the drinks, required electrolytes, my safety, childcare for my daughter, and then I would run. I still remember the complete peace, the tranquility, the joy of those mornings out in the sun, out in my community, pushing my body to increased endurance with every additional mile. It was complete joy.
After a few races, there were two things that surprised me:
1. I loved running and with a proper training plan, I really felt I had the capability to try for a full 26.2 mile Marathon.
2. I discovered that the atmosphere and the energy that flowed from these races was among the most positive I had ever experienced. No one was angry. People were focused, serious, silly, laughing, happy, sucking on oranges, drinking water, tying their shoes in just the right way, talking, stretching, warming up, encouraging, helpful, smearing sunscreen, colorful, and excited.
I was hooked. This energy I found emanated from the crowd in race after race after race. People who do not run wonder why anyone would voluntarily run long distances, and I can tell you that once you experience the euphoria – you will want to feel it again and again.
I tell you this story because I must contrast it with the evil that rained down on the Boston Marathon on Monday. There are so many stories that have come and will continue to come from that day – both heartbreaking and inspirational. I can tell you that anyone who decides to run a marathon does so for very personal reasons. Those who decided to plan, take the time to train, and then actually made the distance are some of the most resilient, determined people on this planet. Their friends and families cheering for them on the sidelines had supported them through a long process and now were waiting to share in the moment of victory. I had my daughter’s name on my bib and the last .2 miles, I was looking for her, waiting to see her, I knew she was there.
I cannot imagine if I had been close to finishing when a terrorist bombed the race, knowing my family was up there waiting for me to finish. It is so far from what that moment is supposed to be, what the entire day represents, from the pure goodness of long distance runners and the positive atmosphere.
I just wanted to take a moment to recognize the joy that a marathon should bring, and to mourn the loss of three beautifully innocent people. I need to say a prayer for the dozens of people whose bodies will never be the same, that their spirit might grow exponentially stronger. A prayer that the inevitable fear hiding in the dark might soften over time and be replaced by resilience so strong that and love so deep that the fear has no where to grow. A prayer for the city of Boston, you have been an example for all since the birth of our country, and you are a perfect symbol of all that is America yet today. A prayer for our country, the United States of America – whether this came from within or from an international threat, we will not fear, we will live, we will thrive. When you finish a marathon, as you cross the finish line, you will never feel more ALIVE.
Alive. Yes, that is the feeling of a marathon. Alive. Terrorism cannot take that away.
I was on vacation this week, but did have the chance to see Colorado Democrat, State Representative Joe Salazar’s remarks on the news one evening, I believe on Fox News. Joe Salazar, who, in a debate about concealed carry on college campuses, was making a point about safety. He said:
It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like your gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around, or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you … pop a round at somebody.
~ Colorado Rep Joe Salazar
I was disgusted when I heard what he said. These male politicians have no idea what a woman goes through, both those who have been raped and those who fear that they will be raped. If I were carrying a gun, would I shoot someone because they were a little scary? No, I would only shoot someone if I felt my life was in immediate danger, if I were about to be attacked, or was in the middle of an attack.
I know women are accused of being more “emotional” but, in my life I have seen more males suddenly break out in fist-fights than women. These politicians who make such ridiculous statements only need to hear about the numbers of sexual assaults in the military or on college campuses to understand this is real. Members of the military are not allowed to have weapons on base (unless they are in the line of their duty, not for personal protection) and most college aged girls don’t have guns anyway. So, we can clearly see that NOT having guns isn’t keeping the rape numbers any lower. Perhaps if men believed that MOST women were packing – and trained to shoot, they may think twice about attacking these ladies.
I would never, ever, wish such a violent, personal attack on any person. Still, maybe if these male politicians felt like prey – if they were commonly attacked (perhaps like I hear it happens in prison), maybe they would have more compassion. Maybe they would stop trying to remove the “great equalizer” from the hands of a woman. I do understand, very well, the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. For a woman, guns do have a double, and more immediate purpose in a world where there are so many male predators. A whistle or a set of keys might deter some guys, but I am not willing to depend on so little to protect something so important.
Threats of school violence happen from time to time, and they may be a cry for help, or may be the real deal. This one was rather close to home, I have known kids that go to Twin Peaks Middle School in Poway, CA – we used to live just a couple miles from this school. Yesterday, Saturday morning, a Twin Peaks school administrator received an e-mail from a 12 year old boy that had been sent on Friday night.
“The threat indicated that on Monday, Feb. 11, 23 students and a Twin Peaks Middle School teacher would be shot,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Bill Donahue, who is with the Poway sheriff’s substation.
Surrounded by the superintendent of the Poway Unified School District, along with Poway’s mayor and the head of the school board, Donahue said the person who sent the email talked about having the firepower to carry out a devastating attack. “The email made reference to 3,000 rounds of ammunition as well as numerous firearms,” he said.
Capt. Donahue said the Sheriff’s department immediately began working with the Poway Unified School District and they called in their so-called CATCH team that specializes in cyber crime.
He said within hours detectives had a suspect, a 12-year-old student who is a 7th grader at Twin Peaks Middle School. A search warrant executed at the student’s home on Saturday afternoon turned up a disturbing discovery. Law Enforcement discovered “Several computers, along with numerous rifles and handguns.”
Capt. Donahue said the student’s parents were shocked at the allegations against their son. He said the guns were locked up and that the student did not have access to a key. “A total of five rifles, three shotguns and three handguns were taken,” he said. Read more here at San Diego 10 News.
San Diego NBC 7 News added that they had interviewed the teacher who was specifically threatened, and she honestly did not know of any reason this child would want to harm her, or his fellow students. NBC 7 news also said the boy’s father had the guns locked up, and that his parents were shocked. They added that when the boy was interviewed by the Sheriff he was very scared.
I am not sure if he would have really done it, perhaps if he really wanted to – he would not have sent the e-mail. Thank goodness everyone involved took this very seriously, this is actually a good news story. Hopefully they can get this boy the help he needs – and that he will apparently continually need for the rest of his life.
The Principal of Twin Peaks Middle School said there would be school on Monday. A letter was sent to the parents, read the complete letter here.
Please go read this article at the “Cornered Cat.” This is a critical point and I would not want one lady, especially one who is protecting her child, to hesitate for a moment if the time comes to protect yourself.